For 35 years I have worn hats.
And it’s funny, because I’m not even a hat girl. Some of the hats I wore well for a season before tossing them to the side. Some of the hats I tried on suited my personality, but others were a completely wrong fit. And some of the hats I was scared to try on in the beginning I still wear today. Now a comfortable fit, they are an intricate part of who I have become.
I wear the hat of wife.
Sometimes my wife hat looks attractive, and other times not so much, but I am learning that it’s not really about how I look in that hat anyway. It’s about my husband, the other half to my whole. I don’t wear my wife hat to make myself look good. I wear my wife hat for him, to bring a bit of warmth to his life.
I wear the hat of mother.
I tried this hat on timidly at first, but now it’s quite possibly my favorite look. Sometimes my mom hat is frumpy and flops to the side, and there are days when it seems a swift, Kansas wind could knock it right off my head. But other times my mom hat is a perfect fit, so colorful and bright that I know deep in my soul it’s an accessory I never want to be without. I love both versions of my mom hat because they are the real me on this journey, and I will wear this hat proudly all the days of my life.
I wear the hat of Christian, but you should know that my Christian hat is not always the hat I reach for first.
It gets shoved to the bottom of my increasingly crammed closet, but I do make sure and pull it out for special occasions like Sundays and when I need something. I definitely wear my Christian hat when I need something. It fits awkwardly, like it’s not actually sure if it belongs on my head, but I slap it on anyway and hope that it fits ‘good enough’ to fool the masses, without ever really stopping to consider the fact that it does not fool God.
I wear other hats, too.
I daily wear a daughter, sister, and friend hat. I’ve been wearing a homeschool mom hat, but soon I will add a private school mom hat to the list. I wore my foster parent hat for seven years. I tried on a photographer hat and a runner hat (which was perhaps the funniest hat of all), before deciding that neither hat looked good on me. I have worn the hat of both nursing mother and bottle mother and honestly, I liked both looks (gasp). I have never worn the have your child on a schedule hat. I should wear the hat of homemaker and cook more often than I do. I wear the hat of reader quite often, because other’s hats always seem to be better looking than my own. I dreamed of wearing a writer of words that other people read hat (thank you Wichita Moms Blog for allowing me to share my voice!). And if nothing is looking quite right on any given day, during any given season, I immediately go shopping for a brand new hat.
For 35 years I have worn hat after hat, all in the name of finding myself.
Somewhere along the way I began to believe the lie that if I didn’t have a multitude of hats to hide behind, then the world would not find me worthy. As women, its easy to get lost in the busyness of our everyday lives. And if we aren’t careful, we soon forget who it was that we once set out to be. With husbands to serve, children to tend to, and responsibilities that press in from every side, long ago dreams get swept under the rug and survival often becomes the name of the game. We collect followers and likes on social media as if our very happiness depends on them, all the while praying that people only look at our carefully placed hats instead of the utter emptiness that radiates from the neck down. We work hard to hide our weaknesses, our insecurities, and our doubts. We only present the perfectly curated versions of ourselves to the world, as if to say, “Look how put together I am. Look how busy I am. Everything must be fine.”
But after 35 years I’m tired of hiding. It’s exhausting. I can no longer keep up. I no longer want to keep up. It’s time to rid my closet of the hats that are only for show. It’s time for a more natural look.